His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), attended the graduation of the second cohort of EDA students, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi.
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan praised and thanked His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, for his unwavering support and outstanding patronage of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy that is committed to preparing young Emirati talent to shape the future of the UAE’s diplomacy.
A total of 34 students received post-graduate diplomas in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations after successfully completing the nine-month academic programme. During the ceremony, 14 students were honoured for their outstanding Capstone projects, with awards presented in five categories: the best overall capstone, the most rigorous research, the most innovative capstone, the most practical capstone, and the best team work.
The graduating class of 2017 also included employees of several ministries including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
The graduation ceremony drew the participation of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation, His Excellency Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs, His Excellency Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, His Excellency Dr Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education, His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State and member of the EDA Board of Trustees, Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and several other high profile officials, public figures and families of the graduating class of 2017 also attended the ceremony.
In his address to the graduates, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan thanked and applauded them on their achievement, emphasising the important role of the graduates in representing the UAE on the world stage.
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan praised the efforts of the EDA faculty in empowering the second batch of students to serve their country.
His Highness said: “The UAE’s diplomacy represents the country’s soft power that has the potential to make a fundamental difference in its position on the global map and promote the noble values of tolerance and respect that we hold so dear.”
His Highness added: "In 2018, we will celebrate the intellectual and moral legacy of the founding founder of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as the Year of Zayed. I see his legacy reflected today when I look at this remarkable batch of Emirati youth, who are capable of fulfilling the country's foreign policy objectives in an efficient and responsible manner. I have the utmost confidence in these young people and in their ability to become the true bearers of Zayed’s message."
For his part, His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, said: “We are proud to graduate the second batch of EDA diplomats. We have confidence in their ability to achieve the vision of the UAE leadership to promote diplomatic work and excellence in supporting the foreign policy objectives of the country that aim to enhance international cooperation and defend the interests of the UAE.”
His Excellency added: "We work relentlessly in preparing our students to meet the challenges of the changing world of foreign policy and to open new horizons for the UAE through enhancing its prominent global status. As part of their experiential learning component, our student delegations visited the Netherlands, Belgium and China this year, while last year's batch toured New York and Washington to get acquainted first-hand with the intricacies of diplomatic work abroad."
EDA has been the driving force in the UAE’s efforts to qualify talented men and women for international careers and positions of leadership in support of the nation’s foreign policy objectives.